Inflation, eh? It’s been a complaint of beer drinkers ever since I can remember that beer seems to rise in price faster than other goods. I don't know whether it’s true, though I rather suspect it is, and I can’t be bothered looking up the figures.
I suppose that a pint is a regular purchase, like a newspaper or a travelcard, and you notice when it goes up. You get used to the price. You think of it as the natural price and are a little upset when the price rises. Once you have got used to the higher price and have finally stopped grumbling about, it goes up again.
By my reckoning, the price of a pint has tripled since I started drinking. I have certain price points etched in my memory.
1988: In the grotty social club where we all had our 18th birthday parties, all pints were 88p or 92p or something like that. I remember Guinness was the only one that cost more than a pound at £1.02.
1992: £1.22 in the mock-Tudor pub where we used to go after student demonstrations.
1997: I pay £1.99 for a pint for the first time. I remember being really shocked about this. Still, it was at a railway station in central London and the usual price was still significantly lower.
2004: When I moved to my current abode, my new local had caught up with 1997’s London prices: £2.05 was the cost of a pint.
2008: All cask ales £2.50 in one particular pub. I remember this because one night they put on Paradox (9%) at the same price as everything else.
2010: Most of the places I drink now charge £3.00 or a few pence less.
But if you offered me a pint of the nasty muck that I had to drink in the grotty social club for 92p, I’d still choose to drink the beer I drink now.